Chef Ben Bayly wanted to create a new form of New Zealand fine dining using local ingredients. The resulting restaurant is called ‘Ahi’ meaning ‘fire’ or ‘heat’ in te reo.

The fitout reflects this with a material palette and language that refers to New Zealand while trying to avoid clichés, and utilises a ‘hot’ colour palette. Interior materials are presented either burnt or ‘raw’ .

Local timbers predominate, all recycled, these form counters, tabletops, banquettes and an external pallisade wall resembling weatherboards/flames/feathers. The ceiling is of woven laths that mix european timber species grown locally and native nz timbers. This provides dappled light to the interior, filtering direct sunlight from a large glazed roof above.


New Zealand Institute of Architects Auckland Architecture Award (Hospitality) 2021